Earth Networks and EnergyHub Debut e5 Home Energy Demand Response Program Based on Neighborhood-Level Real-Time Weather
DistribuTECH 2012, Germantown, MD and Brooklyn, NY – January 24, 2012 – Earth Networks, the operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, and EnergyHub, Inc., a leading provider of home energy management software and systems, announce a new home demand response and energy efficiency program called e5SM. The patent-pending e5 program, which stands for ease, energy, efficiency, environment and earth, incorporates for the first time real-time neighborhood-level weather conditions and forecasts into demand response programs that aim to reduce peak consumer demand to better manage the grid load during extreme weather.
The program is designed to provide home energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort, while putting the consumer in control. The program is initially rolling out in Texas during summer 2012, followed by expanded implementation with additional utilities planned across North America.
The e5 program takes the burden off utilities to supply, install and maintain home thermostats because consumers play an active role in the program. When consumers choose to join, they select and install program-compatible Internet-enabled thermostats, which are available at major home improvement retailers and online. The program is launching with the 3M FiltreteTM Wi-Fi-enabled programmable thermostat, which includes EnergyHub’s user-friendly software that guides the consumer through the setup process and provides them with ongoing remote HVAC control.
Based on the consumer’s own selections, the e5 program maintains the consumer’s desired comfort level while optimizing energy use by pre-cooling or pre-heating in response to local weather, and when a demand response event is anticipated by forecasted conditions. Further, the e5 program provides homeowners with a home energy audit, which ranks the efficiency of the house using local weather conditions including temperature, wind and solar fluctuations. From the rankings, e5 provides a customized and prioritized list of recommended steps the customer can take to save energy and reduce costs for their home energy systems (HVAC), which drive the majority of consumer demand during peak periods.
Weather is the largest variable impacting home energy demand. To maximize effectiveness, the e5 program integrates data from more than 8,000 state-of-the-art Earth Networks weather stations installed at schools and public buildings around the country to provide live, hyper-local weather data for a customer’s location. In contrast, other approaches rely on weather data from an often distant location, such as an airport, with delayed reporting that may not represent actual current local conditions.
In developing the e5 program, Earth Networks and EnergyHub sought to overcome a major factor overlooked by many existing demand response programs: occupant comfort. Unlike existing demand response programs that turn off or cycle home thermostats on a pre-defined schedule regardless of the actual indoor temperature, e5 puts the consumer in control. With e5, users dynamically adjust their comfort settings using EnergyHub’s website and mobile apps.
“Many utilities are interested in rolling out demand response programs, but user adoption is limited because consumers want to retain control of their thermostat and remain comfortable while saving both energy and money,” says Earth Networks Energy Products and Business Development Director Dave Oberholzer. “In addition, utilities are finding the installation and maintenance of thermostats at customer premises to be time consuming and expensive. The e5 program, developed in partnership with EnergyHub, eliminates these concerns and difficulties by placing easy-to-use tools to control comfort settings into the hands of the consumer.”
“For years, we have seen how home energy management software and devices can save homeowners money, while helping utilities successfully initiate demand response programs,” said Seth Frader-Thompson, CEO of EnergyHub. “The e5 program elevates these initiatives to a new level by utilizing neighborhood-level weather data from its network to provide more accurate information about home performance. That intelligence enables greater choice and flexibility for consumers in their energy usage, which encourages program participation. When combined with our existing robust and scalable demand response management system, the e5 program can realize higher yields, better energy efficiency, and improved performance for utilities.”
The e5 program is available to all utilities, whether they have existing demand response programs or want to replace their current programs with a more consumer-oriented offering. Earth Networks representatives will be available to discuss the program at DistribuTECH in San Antonio, Texas, in booth #4456. EnergyHub representatives will be available at booth #1621.
EnergyHub, Inc. develops software and hardware solutions that help consumers, utilities, and service providers reduce energy consumption and save money. EnergyHub solutions allow homeowners to understand and control energy use in real time and encourage people to take actionable steps to reduce consumption. Utilities also benefit from EnergyHub technology as it enables them to identify and manage peak loads, implement effective demand response programs, and improve operating efficiency.
EnergyHub, based in Brooklyn, New York, is a privately held, venture-backed company and is deploying its energy management technologies with a variety of utilities across North America.